Two crew members from the United States and Russia have made an emergency landing after a booster rocket carrying them to the International Space Station failed after launch.
Nasa astronaut Nick Hague and Roscosmos’s Alexei Ovchinin were said to be in good condition after landing in Kazakhstan.
The pair lifted off as scheduled at 2.40pm local time from the Baikonur cosmodrome on a Soyuz booster rocket.
They were to dock at the orbiting outpost six hours later but the booster suffered a failure minutes after the launch.
Search and rescue crews were sent to the site of the emergency landing.
Roscosmos and Nasa said the three-stage Soyuz booster suffered an emergency shutdown of its second stage. The capsule jettisoned from the booster and went into a ballistic descent, landing at a sharper than normal angle.
The failure is the latest mishap for the Russian space programme, which has been dogged by a string of launch failures and other incidents.
“Thank God, the crew is alive,” Russian president Vladimir Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters when it became clear that the crew had landed safely. – PA
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